Nobody likes investing a huge amount of effort in their garden, only to see it then partly ruined by one type of pest or another.
This is, of course, a big subject because there are a huge number of potential pests that can make your life a misery.
Here are a few helpful thoughts relating to various categories of pests and how you can do something about them.Birds
Everybody loves wild birds, until you come out one morning and find them busily devouring your fruit crops etc.
There are three classic and legal ways of keeping birds off of your plants and crops.
The first is protective netting. This can usually be strung over the tops of plants and then pegged down into the ground to secure it at the bottom. Don't overlook that pegging because birds can be incredibly inventive when it comes to finding ways to penetrate your defences.
A slightly more expensive variation on netting is the fruit cage.
In passing, be careful to check your netting as it can trap birds accidentally and kill them - unless you are quick to release them.
The second way is to use some form or another of 'scarer'. Many types of birds don't like sudden movement and therefore something on a rotating and swivelling stick with flaps of material (such as the traditional scarecrow) can be very effective even if it is an ancient technique.
The third option usually involves some sort of noise generator. This has to be one that gives off a loud bang or other type of noise on a random basis. It has to be random because if it isn't, the birds will simply get used to it.
Watch out though that you don't find some of your neighbours coming around to ask you why you are making such appalling noises at all hours of the day and night!Insects
There are so many potential problems (e.g. mole crickets) here it's untrue and space doesn't permit a full discussion of all of them.
In the old days, insects were normally treated almost exclusively by one form of insecticide or another. Many of these are now known to have been harmful to the wider environment, including humans and choices today are much more restricted.
There is also a huge range of green products that act to turn insects away rather than seeking to kill them. Many of these are entirely natural products and can be very effective, though not everyone will agree with that viewpoint.
Some bugs can be controlled by the use of physical barriers. For example, slugs and other crawlies can be significantly deterred by borders comprising small shards of sharp stones and such.
Bio-controls are now also very popular. That normally involves bringing in large quantities of other insects, which are harmless to your plants and crops, to feed on those that are more damaging.Larger animals
Trying to deter larger rodent and mammalian pests (e.g. rats or fouling cats) from your garden can be more challenging.
It is possible, if you are looking for an entirely humane solution, to use ultrasonic emitters that can be quite irritating to the hearing of some animals. These can be expensive though and are not always successful with different types of animal.
Some larger animals are particularly sensitive to any indication that there is a nearby predator and that's why various forms of 'big cat dung' can be useful. Some people also swear by having a pet dog, saying that the smell of the dog in the area is often sufficient to put off many types of larger pest.
You can also invest in some humane traps and then simply move the captured pest to an area far away but that can be extremely time consuming and also not massively effective, given that they may often travel very large distances to get back to their normal stamping grounds - your garden.
Almost inevitably here the question of things such as poisoning and shooting may come in. Providing you comply with legal requirements that must be a matter of personal choice, though it's probably fair to say that society is increasingly turning against the use of poisons in the garden.
Ultimately, it might be a smart idea to take advice from a local expert such as your farm machinery trader or someone else.
About the Author:
Michelle W. is an author and provider of a wide range of kubota tractors like BX series tractors
, L series tractors
and M series tractors.